Baby Puts Hand in Diaper When Changing!

Updated on August 09, 2014
J.O. asks from Novi, MI
15 answers

I am being outsmarted by a 20 lb. baby! She is age 1.

During a diaper change...

I hold her 2 legs with 1 hand because if I don't, she thrashes, kicks, giggles and tries to squirm away (and that would get the mess in the diaper all over). So that's one of my hands (sometimes she even breaks free; she's that strong). The other hand grabs the wipes and cleans her bottom. So, I only have 2 hands.

She takes her hands and shoves them on her bottom, getting poo all over! Then she puts her hands in her mouth. I am working as fast as I possibly can.
We must be comical. I'm usually all frantic and yelling, HEAD, NOSE, etc. trying to get her to touch those instead and distract her (worked for my other kids). She won't hold a toy.

I do not usually have someone available to hold her arms down, at least not all the time.

Yuck! My other kids are passing around hand, foot and mouth but amazingly she doesn't even have it.
What do I do with her hands? This is a sanitary nightmare.

What can I do next?

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answers from Phoenix on

Hold her ankles, instead of her legs. They're thinner, so you can get a good grip. Then, before you open the diaper, gather her hands together and hold them, by the wrists, with the same hand that has her ankles. I joke that it's like a baby hog-tie. This way you have a firm grip on both ands and legs, keep the hands out of the mess, and still have a free hand to do the clean-up. While she's confined, keep telling her you have to hold her hands because she keeps putting them in her poop and how gross that is and how that's not allowed.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Take a pair of her socks and put them on her hands before you start the diaper change. The amount of time it takes her to figure out how to wiggle or shake off the socks should give you enough time to change the diaper.

Entertaining for her, easier for you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Time for her to learn "No!" She's not to young. I taught mine at around 9 months not to roll away, kick etc during diaper changes. It's actually effective for everything that must be "stopped immediately" before the house is covered in poop, things are broken, someone gets hurt, someone falls down the stairs, raging tantrums ensue, whatever the urgent situation. The younger they learn "no" the easier to prevent bad habits from spiraling out of control. "Back to Basics Discipline" by Janet Campbell Matson is great for her age and will prevent a world of headaches.

She can heed "no" regarding thrashing, squirming and kicking AND putting her hands in her diaper with calm, clear, consistent, non-angry discipline.Then you can work fast and give her a big hug for cooperating instead of going through the acrobatics!!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

I started changing them standing up. It's really easy if it's just a pee diaper. I poop diaper is a little harder, but it is totally worth it. If you can have her standing on her changing table facing you, you can wipe most of the poop off. To get the rest, have her turn around or to her side and ask her to touch her toes. There might still be a few areas to wipe, but you'll be able to get the last bits.

Even if she isn't walking yet, she should be able to stand without too much help. At first she will likely be so excited about the new routine that she won't even think about putting her hands there.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

my youngest was like that right before she was ready to potty train, I would have to pin her arms down with my legs, like I was kneeling over her, she wouldn't touch and spread poo with her hands, she'd RUN!!!!! so I'd kneel over her legs on her arms, on hand holding her legs and one hand changing a diaper almost upside down. LOL I had to do it IN A HURRY!!!!!! afterwards I'd "jump" off of her and she'd take off like a bat out of hell LOL.
this only lasted about 2 weeks, then I started making her use the potty

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I have a similar problem. The hand I hold the feet with, I also use to hold her hands. She doesn't like it, so I have to be super duper fast and get most of the grossness in a single wipe. Release the hands and finish the wiping. With the quickness momma!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

LOVE the socks on the hand idea from Molly!
Toys hanging above helps.
And WHISPER to get her attention!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My baby's changing table has a strap you can use to hold them down. I used it with my daughter sometimes when she got extra wiggly. Does yours have something like that that you can use to free up a hand?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Take her diaper off then plop her in the tub. Rinse her off all at once.

In child care we put toys on the wall above the changing table. I had a non-breakable mirror that actually worked. So many toy mirrors don't show a proper image. Hanging toys like from a mobile but she's likely to grab those.

Have a specific toy she can only have when she's being changed. As soon as she lays down hand her the toy. Then take it away and put it up as soon as she's done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would give her something safe and interesting, other than one of her own toys, to hold on to. Keep a stash of cool stuff by the changing table and then take it away when done to save for another change.
-a little bottle of baby shampoo tightly closed.
-lids or containers from the kitchen
-a diaper
-a brightly colored sock
-a soft book
-my son liked to hold the baby nose sucker thingy
-a chip clip

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I agree with Amy J. My daughter was just like yours at that age. We didn't say "No," though, we said a "no" sound that sounded kind of like a-a-a, but more with the short "a" and we would say it fast like gunfire. It would suprise her, and she got the point. Then would follow with the word "no". Anyway, back to the diapers... it worked. At first she was so suprised she stopped doing it. Then she thought it was so funny, she would reach for her diaper but not touch it, and then look at us with a huge smile just waiting for us for us to make the noise again! But she never touched it again. Later when she was older she made her dolls do the same and she would say "ah ah ah" to them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I agree with molly. put something in her hands, be it a ball of socks, or a bright and colorful toy, their attention span in minuscule at a young age so it should buy you time to change her.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Erie on

I tried all of these "tricks" with my oldest and anything short of strapping his arms down to the changing table did very little good at all (the tub idea definitely works, though), flailing his arms around, grabbing was a real PITA. He screamed at every diaper change, he squirmed and kicked and acted like I was killing him. He wouldn't hold a toy, wouldn't listen to me whether I talked in a quiet, stern, or loud voice.
We just waited until he grew out of it, and in the meantime learned to change him really fast and, no, you can't always teach a child that young to understand what "no" means. Some kids are just too determined, and my kid was stubborn on top of it, at that age. So, we did it as quickly and gently as we could, and eventually he potty trained. No point getting angry, as irritating as this behavior is :)



answers from Chicago on

I grab both feet in one hand and throw them up to the face when they want to to touch their butts. Say no, and she should get it quickly.



answers from Dallas on

When I change my son, I have the fresh diaper laid out, and he usually grabs it and waves it around. While changing him, I fold the dirty diaper under him and then put it over on the pail. If she gets too much gunk on her, you can use a wipe on her hands and then wash them when you have the clean diaper on.

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